Most Workers Satisfied With Their Jobs

by Frank Newport

Little change from last year

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A great deal has occurred during the past year that could, at least in theory, affect the way workers feel about their jobs. In addition to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, there has been a broad-based decline in the stock market, a general perception that the economy is slipping and several widely publicized cases of corporate malfeasance and corruption. A new Gallup poll compares a number of measures of worker satisfaction now with the same measures a year ago.

Major Finding

Most workers are satisfied with their jobs, including more than four out of 10 who say they are completely satisfied. As has been the case in previous years, workers are somewhat more likely to consider themselves loyal to the companies they work for than they are to think that their companies are loyal to them. Workers are most satisfied with the physical safety of their workplaces, their relations with co-workers, and the flexibility of their hours. Workers are least satisfied with the amount of stress on the job, the amount of money they make, and their retirement plans. Currently, workers appear to be slightly more satisfied overall and with specific aspects of their job than they have been in previous years.

Details

  • Eighty-nine percent of Americans are satisfied with their jobs, including 43% who are completely satisfied. Only 11% say that they are dissatisfied. These levels of satisfaction are slightly higher than they were last year at this time.

How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your job? Would you say you are -- completely satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or completely dissatisfied with your job?

BASED ON --584-- ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL OR PART TIME

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

43

46

9

2

*

2001 Aug 16-19

41

44

11

4

0

1999 Aug 24-26

39

47

12

2

*

1997 Aug 22-25

35

51

10

3

1

1989 Jul 18-21

28

61

8

3

*



  • Complete satisfaction with one's job is highest among older Americans (50 and older), those living in regions of the country other than the Midwest, Republicans, and among those giving the general economy the most positive ratings.
  • Workers are more likely to say they are loyal to the company or organization for which they work than they are to say their company is loyal in return, as has been the case in the past. In the recent survey, 86% of workers say they have a strong sense of loyalty to the company they work for, while 70% say their company has a strong sense of loyalty to them.
Workplace Loyalty
Full- and Part-Time Workers
August 5-8, 2002
  • The August Gallup poll asked workers to rate their satisfaction with 17 different aspects of the workplace. Here are the results, ranked by the percentage who say they are completely satisfied:
Workplace Satisfaction
Full- and Part-Time Workers
August 5-8, 2002
  • Workers express the highest levels of satisfaction with the physical safety conditions of their workplaces, along with their relations with co-workers and the flexibility of their hours. At the other end of the scale, workers express the lowest levels of satisfaction with the amount of stress they have on the job, the amount of money they earn, their retirement plans, their health insurance benefits and their chances for promotion.
  • Gallup has asked workers to rate their satisfaction with some of these job characteristics at various points in the past. In general, the trends are toward higher levels of expressed satisfaction rather than lower, particularly when comparing today's data with the data from 10 to 12 years ago. For example, whereas 45% of American workers were completely satisfied with their job security in 1989, 55% are completely satisfied today. There has been a jump of 15 percentage points, from 35% to 50%, in the percentage of Americans who are completely satisfied with their vacation time from 1989 to this year. (The set of trends on these measures over time is displayed at the bottom of this article.)

Implications

Some might argue that worker satisfaction and loyalty to one's company would become lower as the economy has become less robust, and as more and more evidence of malfeasance in companies across the country has surfaced. But these data show, if anything, a slight increase in satisfaction year to year, even as positive ratings of the economy (as measured by the percentage who rate the economy as excellent or good) have dropped slightly, from 36% last August to 28% in early August of this year. Additionally, the high-intensity media focus on corporate corruption apparently has little direct impact on workers' ratings of their own work situations.

It is interesting to note the high levels of worker satisfaction now compared with similar measures in 1989 and 1997, when just 28% and 35% of workers, respectively, were completely satisfied with their jobs. Still, at no point over the five times Gallup has asked the basic worker satisfaction question has more than 15% of workers said they were dissatisfied with their jobs. (This may result from the fact that those who are fundamentally satisfied either quit or are fired, limiting the number of people who remain on their job in a dissatisfied state).

It is perhaps not surprising to note that workers are the least satisfied with the financial aspects of their job -- pay, retirement benefits and healthcare. Although not at the bottom of the list, it is also important to note that workers are relatively less satisfied with some psychological worker benefits -- most notably recognition and respect -- than they are with many of the other characteristics tested.

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 584 adults, aged 18 and older, who were employed full or part time. The data were collected Aug. 5-8, 2002. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±4 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Do you have a strong sense of loyalty to the company or organization you work for, or not?

BASED ON --584-- ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL OR PART TIME

 

 

Yes, strong
sense of loyalty


No, not strong

No
opinion

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

86

14

*

2001 Aug 16-19

83

16

1

1998 Sep

85

14

1

1993 May 10-13

86

12

2



 

 

Does the company you work for have a strong sense of loyalty to you, or not?

 

BASED ON --584-- ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL OR PART TIME

 

 

Yes, strong
sense of loyalty


No, not strong

No
opinion

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

70

27

3

2001 Aug 16-19

64

32

4

1998 Sep

66

32

2

1993 May 10-13

67

30

3



2002 Aug 5-8
(sorted by "completely satisfied")

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Total dissatisfied

%

%

%

The physical safety conditions of your workplace

69

23

7

Your relations with co-workers

66

28

4

The flexibility of your hours

63

27

10

Your boss or immediate supervisor

56

28

12

The overall contribution your employer makes to society

55

32

10

Your job security

55

30

14

The opportunity you have to do what you do best

54

35

11

The opportunity you have to learn and grow

52

32

15

The amount of work that is required of you

51

36

13

The amount of vacation time you receive

50

25

22

The respect your employer has for your opinions

48

34

13

The recognition you receive at work for your work accomplishments

46

33

20

The health insurance benefits your employer offers

36

28

26

Your chances for promotion

35

30

25

The retirement plan your employer offers

29

33

26

The amount of money you earn

27

43

30

The amount of on-the-job stress in your job

20

46

31

Now I'll read a list of job characteristics. For each, please tell me how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with your current job in this regard. First, are you completely satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or completely dissatisfied with [RANDOM ORDER]?

BASED ON --584-- ADULTS EMPLOYED FULL OR PART TIME

Your job security

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

55

30

7

7

1

2001 Aug 16-19

54

30

8

7

1

1999 Aug 24-26

48

33

11

7

1

1998 Oct

52

35

6

6

1

1993 May 10-12

46

33

9

11

1

1991 Jul 25-28

35

44

12

7

2

1989 Jul 18-21

45

42

8

3

2



The opportunity you have to learn and grow

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

52

32

9

6

1

2001 Aug 16-19

47

33

11

8

1

1999 Aug 24-26

43

38

11

7

1



The amount of vacation time you receive

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

50

25

11

11

3

2001 Aug 16-19

52

25

9

9

5

1999 Aug 24-26

50

30

9

9

2

1998 Oct

47

34

9

9

1

1993 May 10-12

50

22

13

13

2

1991 Jul 25-28

35

43

12

7

3



The amount of on-the-job stress in your job

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

20

46

18

13

3

2001 Aug 16-19

22

40

23

13

2

1999 Aug 24-26

21

44

22

12

1

1998 Oct

22

42

23

11

2

1993 May 10-12

24

36

25

14

1

1991 Jul 25-28

17

44

24

11

3



The amount of work that is required of you

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

51

36

9

4

*

2001 Aug 16-19

47

35

13

5

*

1999 Aug 24-26

46

35

12

6

1

1998 Oct

45

40

11

4

*

1993 May 10-12

47

35

13

5

*



Your chances for promotion

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

35

30

14

11

10

2001 Aug 16-19

32

30

13

12

13

1999 Aug 24-26

32

32

15

12

9

1998 Oct

30

37

16

13

4

1991 Jul 25-28

20

40

18

11

11

1989 Jul 18-21

29

38

19

6

8



The flexibility of your hours

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

63

27

8

2

*

2001 Aug 16-19

57

28

9

5

1

1999 Aug 24-26

56

31

8

5

*

1991 Jul 25-28

39

44

10

6

1

1989 Jul 18-21

46

40

10

3

1



The health insurance benefits your employer offers

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

36

28

12

14

10

2001 Aug 16-19

36

27

11

15

11

1999 Aug 24-26

33

30

14

14

9



The retirement plan your employer offers

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

29

33

10

16

12

2001 Aug 16-19

31

34

8

16

11

1999 Aug 24-26

31

30

10

19

10



The recognition you receive at work for your work accomplishments

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

46

33

13

7

1

2001 Aug 16-19

39

36

13

10

2

1999 Aug 24-26

38

35

14

11

2

1991 Jul 25-28

24

52

17

5

2



The amount of money you earn

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

27

43

18

12

*

2001 Aug 16-19

24

46

18

12

*

1999 Aug 24-26

23

47

16

14

*

1998 Oct

21

48

19

11

1

1991 Jul 25-28

13

53

23

10

1

1989 Jul 18-21

16

56

19

8

1



Your boss or immediate supervisor

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

56

28

7

5

4

2001 Aug 16-19

51

29

8

6

6

1999 Aug 24-26

47

35

7

4

7

1998 Oct

47

38

7

5

3

1991 Jul 25-28

37

45

10

6

*

1989 Jul 18-21

40

45

9

4

2



The physical safety conditions of your workplace

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

69

23

5

2

1

2001 Aug 16-19

65

25

6

3

1

1999 Aug 24-26

63

28

5

3

1



Your relations with co-workers

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

66

28

2

2

2

2001 Aug 16-19

64

28

3

2

3

1999 Aug 24-26

67

27

2

1

3



The opportunity you have to do what you do best

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

54

35

7

4

*

2001 Aug 16-19

54

32

10

4

*



The respect your employer has for your opinions

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

48

34

9

4

5

2001 Aug 16-19

44

32

11

9

4



The overall contribution your employer makes to society

 

Completely satisfied

Somewhat satisfied

Somewhat dissatisfied

Completely dissatisfied

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2002 Aug 5-8

55

32

8

2

3

2001 Aug 16-19

51

32

9

5

3



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